Late rally and game-ending home run by Nathan gives TJ a win in their home opener.
by Marc Houghton
photo by Ryanne Mollo
TJ baseball takes a win in their second game of the season after coming back from a nine-run deficit to beat Mountain View by a score of 14-13. An eight run effort in the fifth inning, and a walk-off home run by second baseman Brett Nathan, left TJ with the victory after a slow defensive start had them down early.
The game started out rough for the Spartans, as errors in the field let the Mountain Lions take a big lead. Starting pitcher Ryan Allen had a great game, allowing only three earned runs of the ten that were scored while he was in the game. After the fourth inning, TJ was down 13-4 and things were looking glum. But as they have shown so many times before, this talented TJ offense can never be counted out . In the fifth inning they rallied, scoring eight runs and bringing the deficit to one. The defense settled down later in the game behind more good ptching from sophomore Bubba Henry and freshman Chris Van Dyke, both in their first appearances as varsity players.
TJ held Mountain View scoreless in the last three innings, leaving them down by one going into the bottom of the seventh, their last chance at the plate. Mountain View got two quick outs to start off the inning, bringing shortstop Tyler Thornton to the plate. Thornton came up big with a base hit single to keep the game alive. With Tyler on base, 2007 4A player of the year Brett Nathan was up to bat with the game on the line. Nathan came through as the hero of the game, hitting a two-run homer over the right field wall to take the win.
The team was happy to come out with a victory, but they aren’t quite satisfied with the way they’re playing. "We like the fact that we won the game, but we aren’t where we need to be right now if were going to win state," said Nathan. With high hopes for the season ahead and a 1-1 record, the boys hopes to come out and get a big win against Eaglecrest at TJ on Friday at 4:00.